Apparently we jumped the gun -- along with others -- about Utah's running back Matt Asiata gaining an extra year of eligibility because of his torn ACL that he suffered early this season, and because of his broken foot he suffered back in 2007.
So, what does this mean for Utah?
Well, it means that the Utes will have cluster of backs and a position change could be coming to one of the players. Matt Asiata, Eddie Wide, and Sausan Shakerin will stay at running back. The change will come to Shaky Smithson who came to Utah as a wide receiver, but made the switch to running back when Asiata was out with his torn ACL. Smithson did play running back at his previous junior college stop.
There is concern with Asiata coming back, because Eddie Wide proved his worth by getting over 1,000 yards in 10 games as the feature back. Asiata is a very capable back and was a bit more reliable in short yardage plays since his size is superior to that of Wide.
Sausan Shakerin who was hurt most of last year will take a back seat to the two feature backs which is not a bad thing. By getting a full healthy year under his belt with perhaps five to ten touches or so a game will be better then watching film or sitting on the sidelines just watching.
One major plus is the direct snap play which Asiata was very good at will get a boost. With Asiata gone last year the Utes rotated different players in that position with DeVonte Christopher, Shaky Smithson, or Luke Matthes. For some reason they tried to keep forcing that play without Matt Asiata which was a poor mistake especially in the BYU game where that play was ran multiple times and was a drive killer.
Having Matt Asiata is only a boom to go along with Eddie Wide where it will be more of a split carry situation which will keep both fresh and wear down the defenses. Asiata will sit out spring practice and hopes to be ready come fall camp since his injury occurred in late September.